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Somerville to push Green Line Extension by hiring social-media company to drum up memes 'n' stuff

I don't always make memes, but when I do, they're about the Green Line Extension

Meme created by Kristin MacDougall.

Wicked Local Somerville reports the city of Somerville is planning on spending $25,000 to $35,000 to hire a PR company to push back against the nay-saying nellies at the state:

As state officials consider cutting the Green Line Extension, Somerville is hiring a PR firm to promote the project via placed interviews and op-eds, Reddit Ask Me Anything forums and "memes."

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I'd rather spend $25,000 on STARTING THE DAMN GREEN LINE EXTENSION

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At current estimates, $25,000 will buy you 2.27" of track.

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N/T

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See! My theory is right! Film companies and such hire people to promote their projects,products,etc via memes! Leave it to corporate America to bastardize cute cats or stupid dances...

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There's alot of deep pockets (construction companies) that want the state's money flowing into their pocketbooks. They use all kinds of psychological techniques to manipulate everybody (citizens, senators, panel members, etc.) into going in the direction best for their profits, and have for many many , ahem, MANY years.

Its time the people who benefit from this project cut the crap, and call them on the carpet.

Explicitly visible pre-planning and budgetary limits, (aka, "show your work," like in math class).
Require work to to be completed, without a blackmailing from the contractors.

This project benefits MILLIONS for GENERATIONS to come.

Construction companies should be considered little more than wage slaves to build the best stuff for the greater good. Trouble is, they've bribed everyone they need to already, and for years at that, so they can get LOTS OF PROFITS FROM US.

John Fish, eat me.

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Asking for people to make memes usually doesn't go over too well.

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WE GOT THIS!

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Because if there's one thing that will win over the hearts and minds of a governor who hates public transit and a legislature that doesn't want to spend money on infrastructure, it's lolcats and self-righteous Redditors. Christ. It's like we're living in a Gibson novel and nobody bothered to mention it.

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Well, Japan's already got virtual idols, so it seems we are in a Gibson novel.

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I hope that money is from local taxes. Give me 15K and Ill make up some photos of cats riding the T and tweet about it.

Is hiring a "social media" PR firm the best use of taxpayer money?

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I CAN HAZ TRANSPORT?

... add that to a cat photo.

I'd like my $30k made out to cash, please.

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IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/P8dqasL.jpg?1)

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The kind of people who might be momentarily amused enough to #engage with this PR firm's #content are probably already 100% in favor of the GLX anyway. The kind of people who can actually make it happen, however, are unlikely to be swayed by Reddit AMAs and gifs and the like.

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tape the memes to bottles of Geritol and Metamucil, and print them in AARP magazine.

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The people on /r/boston LOVE the MBTA. They can do no wrong.

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Considering that most of the cost overruns and delays on the project can be directly tied to decisions and demands made by the City of Somerville and their residents.

Perhaps instead of a PR campaign, Somerville should pony up the money for these bennies they've forced on the state.

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to back that up?

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Really, Weld, Cellucci, Romney delaying the green line construction, supposed to happen concurrent with the fare free central artery tunnel, were at the bequest of Somerville?

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of the following:

Build the line on a private right of way instead of in-street. Justify this change by constructing a "community pathway" alongside the line

Don't construct the maintenance facility on an abandoned railroad yard, but relocate it elsewhere.

Conduct endless design studies and hold ongoing meetings with "design focus groups", neighborhood groups, and the like.

Build excessively elaborate stations where basic shelters (like the D line) would do.

Build pointless "sound barriers" along the line that provide NO benefit to the line's users.

And, lastly, insist on covering the whole thing in "public art" paid for by the state.

All these things have actual costs associated with them. And, with respect, screaming "necessary to maintain quality of life" is not an acceptable 'justification' for squandering public funds needlessly. But then again, if Sonerville is forking over $25K to a glitzy PR firm to hype support on Twitter, their posture and demands on this project don't surprise me.

We need good transit into Somerville. We don't need all the frills and tassles that Somerville has demanded go along with it.

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Build excessively elaborate stations where basic shelters (like the D line) would do.

Tell me how we'd get wheelchairs down into the rail bed and/or BRT stations without elevators or ramps that go for several hundreds of feet to meet ADA requirements.

This is what is driving up the costs of the stations.

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file a chapter 91 appeal since the Green Line extension goes by a puddle.

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Curtatone spent my money on this??? I'd vote against him but he ran unopposed last time.

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n/t

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Folks are latching onto the "meme" aspect, but aside from lolmilennials, I think this is a good use of money. This project isn't going to happen until the public pushes back hard. If $35,000 can successfully bring a new audience into the group of people already being reached by the transit advocacy orgs, and catalyze the uproar that apparently needs to happen in order to hold the state to their promises, that's a bargain.

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

I believe this campaign is less about getting the thing built than it is about giving us an outlet to find humor in our futility.

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Call me boring, but I think what actually is going on here is way less amusing than it might appear. From the article stating that they have a position open in the city communications department, this sounds like they are seeking to contract out typical communications work that they don't currently have staff capacity for. So actually $35k is less than one year's salary for another communications employee-- perhaps it's a good deal after all.

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IMAGE(https://media.makeameme.org/created/one-does-not-9j3b35.jpg)

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